Networking: Know Who You Know!

By Cristina Scalzo

The other day, my aunt called and woke me up at ten in the morning. She was in the Portland area and was wondering if I was interested in going on a walk. I groggily said yes even though I knew I had a million things to do to prepare for finals.

This walk turned out to be a 5 mile speed walk/life update session. It also turned out to be a casual interview that landed me a short term paid internship working for her startup company. We hear a million times over how important networking is, and how 70-80% of jobs are obtained through personal connections. But let me just tell you again: Networking is THE MOST effective job search strategy.

Wherever you are, whoever you’re with is an opportunity to make a connection. This thought can make me nervous at times because I do not feel professional or prepared all of the time. I’ve brainstormed 3 simple and easy things we can all do to stay prepared for these networking run-ins.

  1. Keep your resume up to date: Our lives are always in flux. Every semester we take new classes, tackle new projects, clinical, field experiences and internships (just to name a few) and further develop our careers as students. All of these things are valid to put on your resume if you feel they are important to your career pursuit. Don’t wait until the night before you have a formal job interview to create or update your resume. Constantly be adding to and changing the information on your resume. I recommend updating at least once a semester. This not only allows you to be prepared if someone asks for your resume, but also helps you to be knowledgeable about you own experiences if someone was to ask you about them in a professional but unexpected situation.
  1. Have a personal jingle: How many times has someone asked “Tell me about yourself!” and you have stood there blank faced and forgotten exactly who you are. I know this has happened to me on numerous occasions. Combat this embarrassment by creating a 30 second personal introduction that you can use when meeting people. Things to include are your name (duh), grade, major, and a statement to make you memorable or interesting.

    You never know when a friendly conversation might lead to a professional connection.
    A friendly conversation might lead to a professional connection.

For example, mine might go a little something like this: “Hi! My name is Cristina. I am a sophomore elementary education major at the University of Portland. I am especially interested in Special Education and am currently volunteering at a homeless shelter working with kids and at the local elementary school doing after school tutoring.”- Simple, easy, and straight to the point.

  1. Keep a notepad (or IPhone) with you at all times: Like I said before, you never know who you are about to meet; they may be the “in” to your future job. It is important to remember the names and contact information of the people you encounter. A good way to do this is to record their name right after you are done talking to them. Having a list of networks can help when you when you begin a serious job search.

You never know if the person behind you in line at Starbucks may be the key to your future, but if you do these three things, you will feel more prepared and professional if that turns out to be the case.

Internship Spotlight: Public Health Intern at OHSU

By Briana Rossi

When I first declared Biology as my major, I had no idea what I wanted to do, just that I liked the subject and knew it was broad enough that I would have a variety of career options. There are quite an assortment of fields within Biology and the curriculum at UP gives you a great introduction to many of them. By my junior year I developed a better understanding of my strengths and decided to direct them toward the field of Public Health. Public Health is a field that works to monitor the health of communities, find ways to prevent illness, and improve treatment methods. I knew that this was the field that I wanted to pursue, but found myself stuck on how to move forward with getting experience. UP unfortunately does not offer classes focused on Public Health so I knew that I would have to look elsewhere for this experience.

I did a lot of research online trying to get an idea of organizations, programs, and career opportunities within the Public Health field. I ended up scheduling an internship search appointment with the Career Center and with their help I was able to connect with a UP alumna working as a research assistant at Oregon Health and Sciences University who was looking for an intern. Their area of research was a great fit with my previous experiences so I was very excited about the opportunity. After applying, I was offered the position and excitedly accepted.

I have been interning in the Public Health and Preventive Medicine Department at Oregon Health and Sciences University for the majority of this school year. I work mainly in a team composed of a primary investigator, her two research assistants, and another intern. The primary investigator does research on opioid addiction and ways to improve the treatment of behavioral health through translational research. We are partnered with the Northwest Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network and many other local and national hospitals and organizations. The work encompasses a variety of fields within health, but deals especially with Psychology, Biology, and Health Administration.

My job as an intern is to work alongside the research assistants on grant funded projects. I have gained research experience through my coursework, but this opportunity has helped me to gain a better understanding of how to apply what I have learned outside of my classes. On a day to day basis I help the research assistants with their tasks including literature and grant searching, attending trainings, and watching webinars on the most current developments and challenges in the field along with some admin work. The most beneficial parts of my internship are that I am getting hands on experience with all different stages of the research process, have access to resources of an established research university, and am making great connections within the field that I am interested in, definitely fulfilling that experience I couldn’t find at UP.

My internship is unpaid and I chose to not do it for academic credit since I have completed all the necessary credits required to graduate. Since I am not receiving compensation, I made it my focus to learn concrete skills and make connections that will help me in my professional development, and that strategy has worked really well. OHSU, like many organizations, primarily hires internally and once you have your foot in the door so many opportunities open. I make sure to work hard each time I go in to the office and it has paid off. I was given an honorarium for the work I have completed and was also offered a position for after graduation. I am very excited to continue to work with this team and as an employee I will be responsible for my own project allowing me to continue developing those important connections within Public Health. I am choosing to delay going to grad school for a few years in order to continue gaining experience and I know that this internship opportunity has set me on the right track to be a competitive applicant as well as have working knowledge of the field.

Looking for summer internships? Check out UP College Central Network for current postings!

Graduating?

By Briana Rossi

On May 3, almost 850 students belonging to the class of 2015 will graduate. This is a new stage in our lives. Until this point, we have in a sense known what the next stage in life would be; elementary school to middle to high school, then graduate and attend college. But after college, there is no specific next thing and that can be super daunting.  Whether you plan on going straight to grad school, enter the work force, volunteer, move back with your parents or go on a month-long backpacking journey through Europe, it is important to keep a few things in mind.

Things to remember:

  • Your major does not determine your job. The skills you have learned can be translated and applied in almost any field. Communication, leadership, and a strong work ethic are what employers are looking for, and most other skills specific to the job can be taught through training.
  • If you are like me and still don’t know what you want to be when you grow up, that is totally okay. This is the perfect time to explore various career paths. Use the time to discover what you like and don’t like to do. Become a professional explorer.
  • It’s probably time to clean up your social media. The pictures you shared with your friends from the party last Friday are not so cool in the professional world. Managers will be less likely to hire you if your online profiles show you being careless or at risk of showing up to work hung-over. Most employers will look at your profiles in an effort to get a better idea of who you are, so put a good face forward.
  • You’ve worked hard to earn your degree and have acquired a lot of great skills along the way, but there are no guarantees in the workforce. Don’t expect to rise immediately to the top–you still need to prove your worth in the workplace and have to earn your place within your organization. Humbly know your worth, and continue to work hard to reach that goal you’ve set for yourself!
Are you graduating this May? Career Services is here to help you make a successful transition from college to work.
Are you graduating this May? Career Services is here to help you make a successful transition from college to work.
  • The Career Center serves alumni! The doors are still open to every Pilot regardless of when you graduated. If you need help with your job search, have to make a career change, or want some professionals to review your application, help is available. You also still have access to College Central Network where employers specifically seek people from UP.

Congratulations, graduating seniors, you’re almost there! Career Services is available for appointments all summer, so give us a call and let us know how we can help you with your job search.  

What Are YOU Doing This Summer?

By Cristina Scalzo

There are 13 days until school ends and everyone heads their own directions for summer break. For some of you, this may evoke feelings of excitement. For others, the lingering question of how to fill the four months of break is causing serious anxiety. There are many ways to fill the summer months: pool side tanning, late night bonfires, and spontaneous adventures with friends. However, I would encourage you to also consider taking advantage of this time to develop your career. Getting an internship, job, or participating in other productive summer activities does not mean losing those fun times with friends, it is simply a way to jump-start your future.

The key to finding an internship or job for the summer is to START NOW! It is not too late to begin looking for one. I know it may seem impossible to focus on getting a job or internship when finals are just around the corner, but trust me, it will be worth it!  And did you know that Career Services also provides a job posting site that is unique to University of Portland students? The employers listing jobs on this site are searching for students from our University…that means they want YOU! (Visit: http://www.collegecentral.com/up/).

Remember, Career Services is open for appointments all summer!
Remember, Career Services is open for appointments all summer!

Career Services provides career counselors who specialize in helping students find jobs and internships and even can help you prepare properly. From resume help to mock interviews, they can help get you into tip-top shape to land a summer job or internship.

Jobs and internships are the traditional routes to take, but not the only ones. There are endless ways you can productively spend your summer.

  • If you are a junior, the summer might be a good time to start thinking about graduate school applications. Creating a timeline for the application process can make your life so much easier. Keep in mind that some schools may require you to take a test, which should be scheduled far in advance. Also plan out who you want to do your recommendations and when you want them done by. Giving your reference a heads-up in advance allows them to spend extra time thinking about how best they can portray your wonderfulness (and also shows respect for their time).
  • Or, you can spend some time volunteering at a local shelter, food bank, or non-profit. One of my favorite places to volunteer here in the Portland area is the Rebuilding Center – an organization that focuses on recycling old materials to create a sustainable environment (http://rebuildingcenter.org/). If you are looking for a shelter, try Portland Homeless Family Solutions, a family shelter dedicated to help its residents build life skills and transition into permanent housing (http://pdxhfs.org/about-us/).
  • The summer is also the ideal time to develop your career by scheduling informational interviews with professionals in your field of study and by seeking out job shadowing opportunities, since you are free of the burden of papers, studying, and homework and might actually have a few hours of down time.

Lastly, make sure to do what you love. Further develop a passion of yours, or find a new hobby to pick up. Pursuing pastimes you’re truly interested in can lead to a great career down the road.

Career Profile: Rebecca Webb – Portland Radio Project

By Emily Neelon

Looking out at the Portland skyline from the window of the Portland Radio Project studio on the eighth floor of the Tiffany Tower, Rebecca Webb reflects on her 37 years in the radio business. “You make the best decisions that you can as you go along,” Webb said. Clearly, she made all the right decisions.

Webb graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Oregon in 1978, but she began as a theater and music double major. The accomplished journalist decided to switch her major to broadcast journalism her junior year of college when she realized it would provide a good fit for her outgoing, talkative personality. She began her radio career at KUGN in Eugene while she was finishing up her senior year, and was the only woman in the newsroom at the time. After a few years at KUGN, Webb moved up to Portland and has never looked back. She has worked as a radio personality and host for KINK and KATU as well as a host for KOINTV among other positions.

When Webb first began her career in broadcast journalism, radio stations were independently owned and connected to their communities. But since she first stepped into KUGN, Webb has watched owner consolidation moving radio stations away from their communities and onto an impersonal national platform. Unhappy with this transformation, Webb decided to pursue higher education and received a graduate degree in political science at Portland State University. Her 2011 thesis project focused on radio owner consolidation in Portland through the lens of democracy.

Webb’s passion for putting an end to radio consolidation in Portland catalyzed Portland Radio Project. Along with other radio veterans who shared her disappointment in the direction radio communications was headed, Webb founded PRP in a friend’s bedroom in the summer of 2013. With the goal of keeping radio local by featuring local artists, businesses, non-profits, and news, PRP has a different business model than any other station in the Portland metro area.

Since its founding almost two years ago, PRP has become a major presence in the Portland community. The station has moved from its bedroom beginnings to a space in Forge PDX in the Tiffany Tower in downtown Portland and has been awarded official non-profit status. Although the station currently streams exclusively online, PRP will be moving to the radio dial soon with a tentative launch date of May 1. Webb can’t believe how much her project has grown and looks forward to seeing where she and her team can take it.

Looking back on her long career in a field she loves and looking forward to the promising future PRP has awaiting, Webb believes much of her success has come from a combination of hard work and luck. She believes in order to be successful in any career, it’s important to pursue opportunities fully and treat volunteer or internship positions with the same dedication as paid positions. For students hoping to pursue a career in radio, she emphasizes the ability to be creative and think outside of the box. With the communication field developing so quickly, Webb suggests gaining as much education as possible throughout one’s life.

Review: Don Asher’s Life Launch

By Cristina Scalzo

“Hello boys and girls!” If you can get past Don Asher’s overly peppy introductions and the fact that he randomly pops on a wig here and there, then the Life Launch video series is the one for you. All kidding aside, I highly recommend this video series, no matter where you are in your personal career development. Don Asher – writer, speaker, and career counselor – has created a 9-step process to help college students and job seekers begin their careers. Topics from interviewing to the hidden job market are covered in an extremely helpful but also entertaining way.

The series contains nine “badges” one must earn to receive the certificate of completion (and yes, you may list this certificate on your resume). To earn each badge, one must watch a short video clip, take a 4 question quiz, and submit three facts they learned about the topic. Each section also contains corresponding readings from Don Asher’s own books, which we conveniently have available to read in Career Services! It is easy to buzz through the badges, as each topic only takes about 15-20 minutes to complete. What is really crazy though is how much useful information is covered in this short amount of time. After completing all of the badges, I feel immensely more knowledgeable about how to begin my career. And with many of you looking for summer jobs and seniors headed out into the “real world” in just a few weeks, this video series is a great place to gather information and tips. So push past Don Asher’s quirkiness and give this video series a try: http://www.ashercareerlaunch.com/.

First Avenue Career Expo is TOMORROW!

First Avenue 2015 ADvantage (Landscape)

The OLAPC First Avenue Career & Graduate School Expo is tomorrow, Thursday, April 9 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm in the Chiles Center.

Go to https://olapcfirstavenue.org to view a list of attending organizations.

“Link In Live: Real People, Real Connections” will take place from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm as a part of the Career Expo. This is a unique opportunity to connect with professionals representing a variety of organizations, including many alumni from UP. Sign up for this event when you register for the First Avenue Career Expo!

Career Fairs: Be In the Know Before You Go

Preparation is key to career fair success: steps every job seeker should take before and during a career event to enhance their candidacy. Below is a presentation that provides an over view for how to prepare for the First Avenue Career Expo on Thursday, April 9th: 

How to Stand Out At a Career Fair – USA Today

College Central Podcasts: Career Fairs – Be In the Know Before You: http://app.stitcher.com/splayer/f/27260/35257615

Please contact Career Services at 503.943.7201 or career@up.edu if you have any questions. We hope to see you at the Career Expo on Thursday, April 9th.